Mahindra Retail Private Ltd of India's brand "Mom & Me", a successful retail clothing and accessories brand in the Indian market was in need of a refresh due to concerns within the Store development and presentations team that the store identity was not easily seen by customers during daytime and at night, in busy environments with thousands of competing visual messages.
Research had established that there was insufficient colour contrast in the current sign identity; the identity needed to be more easily adapted to different sizes and proportions and to other types of signage – from totems to lollipops; there was also a need for improved maintenance of signs and a better understanding of the sign cabinet and back-lighting construction.
Having approached the 3M Brand Services team at 3M in Bangalore for help, a process was agreed with three main stages – design intent/creation and understanding of the brand, its customers and its product and services; this was followed by a sign concept development phase and finally, a sign engineering phase.
During the sign concept development phase, 3M analysed the proposed sign design optional changes through the 3M™ Visual Attention Service to better understand which areas of the design would be likely to receive a customer's visual attention within the first 3-5 seconds by day and at night. Results clearly showed lack of attention where colour contrast was poor, where certain colours did not illuminate well when backlit, and when insufficient lighting power or type of lighting was deployed.
In the 'sign engineering' phase, to rectify the findings of the V.A.S analysis, 3M made a range of simple and straightforward recommendations, from moving from the flat orange primary colour to a graduated print version from each side of the sign to the middle to 'draw the eye' to the central logo; to increase the day/night contrast by employing the use of 3M white Block-Out Film for the day time background but with translucent orange lettering inlaid, thereby enabling strong orange text against a dark background at night; and finally, switching from LED's to Fluorescent tubes, thereby boosting the level of lighting and the overall sign cabinet visibility at night.
Mr Surender Gnanaulivu, the Executive Vice-President and Head of Store Development and Presentation stated, that 3M had given a "valuable contribution to the conceptualisation and execution of the all new concept", and that Mahindra Retail "were very happy to have 3M as a business partner".
Agreed sign design option to be tested by day and by night.